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[Theory] Squires, Hearts, and Kaladin Ascension

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Alright so I've been browsing various book five theories and fitting things together in my head, and I've got a theory about how this is all going to go down.

One recurring theme that we've seen, throughout the series but especially in RoW, is this idea that "Honor is not dead so long as he lives on in the hearts of men." Wit also talks about how the contest between Dalinar and Odium will be about the hearts of the people. And while I know this isn't speaking about hearts literally, I can't help but be reminded about deadeyes coming back a little bit alive by syncing up with the heartbeats of those who hold their blades.

According to WoB, the Resonance of the Windrunners is "strength of squires." They're better at forming Connections with people that let them share their power. And we've been seeing Dalinar learn to sense and tinker with Connections, and he's hoping to learn how to better use this skill from Ishar. So what if that squire Connection Kaladin has gets taken, and then strentched out to a whole bunch of people? On one level, I can imagine this simply being the Windrunners. The Radiants closest to both Honor and to Kaladin himself. But imagine if Kaladin winds up connected to everyone. Not even just humans, but singers (after all, Kaladin has shown himself to be pretty empathetic when it comes to the singers, and there's been a lot of hints at reconciliation between them and Honor) and maybe even the spren. A thousand thousand people of Honor, each drawing in a little Stormlight, their hearts beating together and each bringing Honor a little closer back to life, all with Kaladin at the focal point. And then he swears the fifth ideal, gets his final big burst of stormlight, and ascends.

There are a few different factors I can think of that can maybe get us to this point. The first is that Dalinar winds up being the one responsible. Kaladin's not the only big viewpoint protagonist, so it makes sense he'd get help on this one, and this is the sort of thing Dalinar has been readying himself for. Secondly, it could be that Kaladin faces down with Moash (or someone else does, but Kal makes the most narrative sense I think) and wins Jezrien's honorblade, letting him double up his Windrunner powers and therefore his Resonance. Third, he could wind up with Ishar's honorblade, making him both a Windrunner and an unchained Bondsmith, letting him set things up himself. The biggest hurdle I can think of with that one is that Kal doesn't really have any Bondsmith training and I find it unlikely we'll see Dalinar relegated to just a mentor role. Of course, it could quite easily be a combination of some or all of these possibilities.

I think this would be a satisfying way to finish out Kaladin's character arc while also giving a way for all the peoples of Roshar to prove their Honor. Of course, I don't think it'll solve all the problems, seeing as we've still got all the back half books to be filled. In fact, I can picture this being something that averts a victory by Odium, with him doing some serious damage before Honor!Kaladin ascends and is able to put him in a stalemate.

One last tangential possibility that still follows the same formula is that we wind up with this network of the hearts of the people of Roshar, still centered on Kaladin, but it's Syl who winds up ascending, since she's made of Honor anyway. Of course, by that point Kal would have a Nahel bond with a Shard-Spren, and the difference between that and actually ascending is probably mostly pedantic.

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oh, interesting! I haven't even thought about Kal (or anyone really) getting an Honorblade that doesn't collide with their order. Moash had (has?) the Windrunner Honorblade at the moment, right? Wonder how strong the resonance from those is too. For Moash, that meant "you get to do the Windrunner thingy even without a spren"; so i hope it wouldn't mean "you don't need Syl anymore". Unless she ascends, though I'm afraid Syl!Honor would struggle matching Taravangian in wits.

Big old Resonance from Kaladin to all the hearts of humans and singers would be amazing though. We saw some friendship to singers, we heard from Leswhi about friendship to honorspren, maybe some of the Honorspren that Adolin's trial swayed come to the physical realm and bond singers as Windrunner squires!

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Kaladin with an Honorblade is something that I really want to see now, but I think it may happen a little differently. 

I'm still a proponent of the theory that Dalinar, to "win" the contest, is going to have to manipulate his Connection to various things...including his Connection to the Stormfather himself. Dalinar's going to do this at a moment where he's about to ascend, and then push it to Kaladin, who himself will have said his Fifth Ideal, and the power of the that new bond, along with Tanavast's Cognitive Shadow (?) and the ability to see just how many people Kaladin has a Connection to and has influenced will push him to become Honor. 

But yeah, I'm with you on Kaladin Ascending. From little things like "Honor is dead, but I'll see what I can do" having so much more impact to things like being called the "Son of Tanavast" making a little more sense. 

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On 2/15/2022 at 6:33 AM, Benkinsky said:

oh, interesting! I haven't even thought about Kal (or anyone really) getting an Honorblade that doesn't collide with their order. Moash had (has?) the Windrunner Honorblade at the moment, right? Wonder how strong the resonance from those is too. For Moash, that meant "you get to do the Windrunner thingy even without a spren"; so i hope it wouldn't mean "you don't need Syl anymore". Unless she ascends, though I'm afraid Syl!Honor would struggle matching Taravangian in wits.

Big old Resonance from Kaladin to all the hearts of humans and singers would be amazing though. We saw some friendship to singers, we heard from Leswhi about friendship to honorspren, maybe some of the Honorspren that Adolin's trial swayed come to the physical realm and bond singers as Windrunner squires!

Struggle is a understatement he would Run circle around her.

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I doubt Syl becoming a Shard, I think Shards probably want a Physical being for a Vessel, but Kaladin is totally a possibility... Although Dalinar seems to be being set up for something like Ascension too.

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I think that somewhere in secret history it's mentioned that Kelsier had a hard time wielding Preservation in part because of his body (or lack therof)

of course this could probably be solved by abusing the Nahel bond (and using Brandon's 0th law of magic), to also make Kaladin share it in some way.

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